shelter from the storm

The convenience store industry was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, and many retailers are still recovering from the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Hurricane Katrina caused nearly $1 million in damages to a dozen Danny & Clyde’s convenience stores owned by Donna Cyprowski and Chris Rittiner, who took the chain’s reins from their fathers.

in brief

Chevron Invests in Biodiesel FacilityChevron Corp., which operates 2,800 convenience stores, has invested through a subsidiary, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV), in a Houston-based company that is building one of the first large-scale biodiesel plants in the U.S. The facility will have the potential to produce 100 million gallons per year of this clean-burning renewable

managing fuel operations

Circle K and Worsley roll out innovative programs to streamline costs and boost profitability. By John Lofstock, Editor With fuel prices soaring to record highs, marketers are desperately looking for software solutions that can help them manage the business more effectively. On the fuel supply side, tighter control of distribution could enhance margins and increase

caring for cars in vegas

Thousands of carwash operators, equipment manufacturers and vendors filled the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center to “clean up.” By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Cruising the show floor at the annual Car Care Expo in Las Vegas, dozens of current and would-be carwash operators perused new products that caught their eye, considered the future of

washing away lost margins

The carwash has matured from an ancillary service to a major profit center that could easily exist on its own. Matthew Jadali has it all figured out. Operating his third different Mobil location in the past dozen years, like most convenience store owners, he’s doggedly battling the deterioration of gas margins. His weapon of choice:

news brief

Irving Oil fights backIrving Oil Ltd. (Saint John, New Brunswick) said it "will vigorouslydefend" a class-action lawsuit alleging that the chain overcharged consumerson fuel taxes in 2004. The suit was filed in February by Option Consommateurs,a Canadian nonprofit group. "We have received the legal papers and we are inthe process of reviewing them," Irving Oil

griffin brand comes to life

American Auto Wash launches a proprietary fuel offering with plans to introduce it to franchisees in the Mid-Atlantic. In Greek mythology the griffin has served many purposes including the guardian of treasures and kings. Kevin Kan hopes his Griffin will represent similar riches. Kan, president and CEO of American Auto Wash Inc., rolled out the

high gas prices impacting cstore profitability

With credit card fees eating away at fuel margins, NACS is promoting an alternative. While in-store sales are flat, retailers’ biggest concern is profit margin erosion triggered by escalating credit-and debit-card processing fees. Beset by record-high gas prices over the past two quarters, convenience store and petroleum marketers are struggling to maintain profitability. In addition

committed to convenience stores

A look at the Fina brand 16 Years (200 CSD Issues) Later By Jeff Morris President and CEO, Alon USA Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, reflects on the growth of the Finabrand since the company was profiled in the inaugural issue of ConvenienceStore Decisions 16 years ago. After reviewing the article about

suppliers reflect on industry evolution

CSD survey finds marketing, communications and wireless technology are keys to unlocking future growth. By most accounts, 10 years really isn’t all that significant a span of time. But to suppliers of convenience stores, a decadeparticularly this past decadehas been monumental in the ongoing evolution of the c-store industry and the customers it serves. During

marked for growth

Independent marketers with a thirst for alternative fuels find value and stability with GROWMARK’s FAST STOP brand. Doug Finkbeiner thought the sky might fall when a couple of big boxesopened up in Lapeer, a small town north of Detroit, last year. To counter thepresence of a new Meijer supermarket/fuel center and a Wal-Mart Supercenterwith a

the quest for clean power

To maintain uptime and reduce servicing, the latest generation of electronic power conditioners guards data in case of power failure or lockups in ATM systems. To maintain uptime and reduce servicing, the latest generation of electronicpower conditioners guards data in case of power failure or lockups in ATM systems. In the race to deliver 100%

pumped about biofuels

Some people say the U.S. can free itself from foreign oil dependence if it buys from the Midwest rather than the Middle East. Will the industry allow that to happen? Back in February, a gasoline distributor told Karen Riley, vice president of operations for nine-store Jiffy Mini-Marts Inc. (Terre Haute, IN), about an alternative fuel

sheetz flies high in raleighdurham

Board members of North Carolina

splash time

Rutter

serving the upper crust

Not many convenience stores serve Salad Nioise (Albacore tuna withbaby greens, tomatoes, haricot verts, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, anchoviesand nioise olives with a citrus vinaigrette) or Egg Florentine (classicegg salad with parmesan and spinach on a buttery croissant) as part of theirprepared foods offers. Not many convenience stores offer wine tastings and canapsat the bar

carolina petroleum optimizes fuel ops

Carolina Petroleum Distributors (Charlotte, NC), which owns and operatesmore than 60 high-volume convenience stores under the Petro Express brand inthe Carolinas, has implemented an Internet software solution from TelaPointInc. to streamline and manage its fuel marketing and transportation schedulingprocesses. The retailer is using TelaFuel (www.telafuel.com),a browserbased application suite, to improve management of fuel replenishmentoperations serving

waterworld

First-class service sets Waterway Gas & Wash apart from the crowd. Some people would consider Henry Dubinsky a visionary, a man ahead ofhis time. As far back as 1970, he realized that carwash and gasoline were naturalbedfellows. Dubinsky, chairman and chief executive officer of Waterway Gas &Wash Co., knew even then that the two profit

outfoxing the competition

Inventive car wash operators find faithful ’companions’ in pet owners wanting to pamper their pups. Most dog owners would associate the word “loyal” with their furry, four-legged friends. And retailers—specifically those with car washes—are hoping they can make the same association with all types of pet owners. While dog washes came into vogue in 2003

in the q

Anchored by Starbucks and other powerful food brands, Canadian Tire’s ’Q’ concept could have a dramatic effect on the retailing landscape north of the border. Canadian Tire Petroleum has sold gasoline since 1958, but even the company’s president will admit that its traditional convenience store offer has been less than imaginative—until recently. Canadian Tire Petroleum’s

new and improved

Branded fast food and a retooled ’people process’ inspire New West Petroleum to new-found profitability in the Golden State. California’s New West Petroleum often interviews 40 candidates to fill one store manager’s job or 20 candidates for one sales associate’s job. But the pools of talent in the two major markets in which the company

fewer gallons

Reclaiming water helps car wash operators cut costs substantially and reinforce their reputation as being good neighbors. By Bill Donahue, Editor Last summer, as a cameraman was setting up his tripod at a car wash/convenience store in the Las Vegas area, Jon Athey knew it probably wasn’t a positive development. There, an associate producer for

cobranded credit

cashing in on credit

Rising credit card fees got you down? Some retailers have convinced many credit customers to trade down to cash. Customers using cash or a CITGO Cash Card (above) at Larry Neville’s CITGO station in Florida receive a discount on gas purchases. Some credit-card customers aren’t too pleased, but Neville says the program has been worthwhile

fuel marketing

Miller Oil nets higher fuel margins Three years ago Miller Oil Co. had been taking a beating at the pumps. The market had inverted for nearly three months and Miller's fuel volume was, pardon the pun, in the tank—a 10% to 15% decline per year over a three-year period—due to competitors pricing below cost. The

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